Background: Coronary artery disease (CAD) has known risk factors. Individual risks related to specific ethnicities are complex and depend on genetic predisposition and lifestyle.
Objectives: To compare the nature and prevalence of risk factors in Arab and non-Arab ethnic patients with symptomatic obstructive CAD referred for coronary angiography.
Methods: CAD, defined as coronary angiography with a ≥ 50% narrowing in ≥ 1 vessel, was diagnosed in 1029 patients admitted to a medical center between April 2014 and October 2015. Patients were divided into two groups according to ethnic origin: Arab vs. non-Arab. Demographics, clinical presentation, and coronary risk profiles were compared.
Results: The diagnosis of CAD was made during ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in 198 patients (19%) who arrived at the clinic, 620 (60%) with unstable angina/non-STEMI, and 211 (21%) with stable angina. Patients with symptomatic CAD and Arab ethnicity were 47% more prevalent than non-Arab patients presenting with CAD. The Arab patients were appoximately 5 years younger, 50% more likely to be active smokers, 25% more likely to be obese, and more likely to have a family history of CAD. Other coronary risk factors were similar between the two groups.
Conclusions: Smoking and obesity, which are potentially modifiable CAD risk factors, stood out as major risk factors, in addition to genetic disposition, among Arab and non-Arab patients with symptomatic CAD. Screening and educational interventions for smoking cessation, obesity control, and compliance to treatment of co-morbidities should be attempted in order to decrease CAD in the Arab population.